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I just wanted to let people here on D/A know that I contributed interior illustrations to the new book "Domino Lady: Volume One" from Airship 27 Productions.  If you're interested the link to pick up a copy on Amazon.com is

www.amazon.com/Domino-Lady--On…

I'll also have them for sale at Marble City Comicon this coming weekend (April 25-26) but come by early as I've only got a few copies to go around.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: Black Orchid (original series in Adventure Comics)
  • Watching: Daniel Boone
  • Playing: busy guy
  • Eating: Lightly
  • Drinking: Cherry Fanta (too much)
Just a note to everyone on DA as I'm running out the door (well, practically).  Going to Pigeon Forge, TN to Yama-Con again this year.  This will be three years for the show and three years with me there.  I'm going to be speaking at the opening ceremonies (got my Tux all packed), going to be doing a panel with several other artists on Saturday 12:30-2:45.  I'm also promoting my newest book, The Mob of Zion, there.  We're pulling all the stops out for this one--with give-aways all weekend, and a couple of "newsies" walking around the show selling copies of the book to anyone who's interested in buying one.  So if you're in the neighborhood, you may want to come by and see me.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: Blood of Olympus
  • Watching: my blood pressure levels
  • Playing: busy guy
  • Eating: Danish Kringle!
  • Drinking: water, cherry concentrate
Hi all,  Just explaining the cryptic map above in my profile.  Tomorrow is Asheville Comics Expo in Asheville, NC at the U.S. Cellular Center (no it has nothing to do with biology--even though it sounds like it should be really squishy).  I'll be there in A-71 if you want to come by and see me.  I'll be giving stuff away--that's right GIVING stuff away for FREE.  I'll also have items for sale and my tip jar, but you are not obligated in any way to buy or contribute--your personal feelings of guilt are all I have working for me, that and the fact that a lot of people like what I do.

So come on by, visit with me, hang out all day if you like--just remember that the tip jar is there, the products are there, and I could be in my studio working on a paying gig. ;)
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: Lone Wolf and Cub
  • Watching: the time pass
  • Playing: busy guy
  • Eating: pasta, veggies, moonpies
  • Drinking: cherry Fanta
I'm as busy as a one-handed paper hanger, getting ready for Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC this coming weekend (June 20-22).  So this is going to be short--I'm at table AA-306.  If you're coming to the show (along with around 60,000+ others) this weekend look for me there!  I'll be doing sketches, selling AUTHORIZED prints, and giving other stuff away.

Let me repeat that.  I'll BE GIVING STUFF AWAY.

So be sure to hit my table for free stuff.

And if you want to buy something or give me a tip, that's cool.

If you're an artist you may also want to drop by the table where my buds from the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society are hanging out explaining what that's about.

So do come by.  I'll be looking for you all.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: Showcase: Green Lantern, vol. 3
  • Watching: my waistline
  • Playing: busy guy
  • Eating: Papa Johns Pizza
  • Drinking: Water, cherry concentrate
Sorry about that.  Not journaling, that is.

Been really busy lately.  Since Marble City Comicon I've been working on two comic books simultaneously, as well as adding more illustrations for the Domino Lady book.  I also picked up a couple of cover jobs, and so things are busy.  Also visited San Diego for the annual NCS Reuben Awards weekend, where I met "Weird Al" Yankovic--a great moment in my life!

I attended SC Comicon, and last weekend was at GeekOUT Asheville.  Next weekend is Heroes Convention in Charlotte--then going to take some time off of the convention circuit to get drawing done.  That is all, of course, Lord willing.  Right now I've got two pages of pencils on the drawing table that need to be finished, 7 pages of inks that need the same, and two illustrations pending.  So I should be working, not journaling.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: Showcase: Green Lantern, vol. 3
  • Watching: my waistline
  • Playing: busy guy
  • Eating: pintos and corn bread
  • Drinking: Water, cherry concentrate
Headed out to Marble City Comic Con in Knoxville this weekend.  In fact I need to be packing up and heading out the door soon!

So, if you are in the area this weekend I'll be there trying to get pencils done on one project, preparing for another, and doing the meet and greet thing with fans.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: The Mark of Athena
  • Watching: my leg heal
  • Playing: self promoter
  • Eating: left over veggies and oatmeal cookies
  • Drinking: Milk, Water, Cran-Razz
Just a quick note to let everyone out in DA land know that I'm off to Macon, GA for Middle Georgia Comic Con this weekend!  It's going to be interesting at very least.  Should be doing a panel with Shawn McCauley Saturday morning at 10:30 on "Making Comics" (a re-visitation of the subject we covered back at Yama-Con in December).  So come on out if you're in Georgia, SC, TN, NC, FLA, or ALA (you can come out if you're NOT in those states, but MGA is within reasonable driving range of all of those listed.

mgacon.com/

I'll be there selling and talking about comics.
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: The Definitive Biography of PDQ Bach
  • Watching: my leg heal
  • Playing: self promoter
  • Eating: the usual
  • Drinking: Milk, Water, Cran-Razz
So many of my friends have mentioned accepting commissions on DA I thought it was good time to do that myself.  Of course I've been accepting commissions all along, but it probably doesn't hurt to mention that fact (especially when faced with taxes, insurance premiums, and all the other bills that just keep coming).  So I'm going to make this easy for anyone who might want a commission, both in explanation and in pricing:

Quick commissions:  These are comparable to what I'd draw for you if you were to come to my table at a convention or book store signing, good examples would be the PowerGirl, Supergirl, and GL sketches in my Gallery.  These are done rather quickly, but still with a lot of care and skill--because I just can't bring myself to do sloppy work.

8.5 x 11" on index paper, single figure.

Pencil:  $10.00
Pencil and Ink:  $20.00
Pencil, Ink, and Color:  $25.00

Studio Commission:  These are comparable to the work I normally do for publication, good examples would be TV Batgirl, Wolfman cover #1, or BM 181 recreation in my gallery.   These take a lot longer to do (several days) and run a bit more in price.  The complexity of these determines the price, so if you're interested in one contact me for a quote.

Single or multiple figures with background elements, etc.

Pencil: $60.00-$100.00 (usually drawn 7 x 10" on bond paper in preparation for enlargement for inking) 
Pencil and Ink:  $125.00-$200.00 (usually 10 x 15" on bristol board)
Pencil, Ink, and computer Color:  $250.00-$350.00 (you get all three pieces for this price, the pencil sketch on small paper, the inked version, and a computer printout of your color version).

Deluxe Commission:  These are fully rendered color-pencil pieces drawn on both sides of a sheet of UC-4 polyester drafting media attached to illustration board, and good examples of these are Gotham Gothic, TVBG6211, NapoleonGAH, and Capt. Dolly in my gallery.

These do not include multiple steps.  And the price varies based on the size of the piece, complexity and other variables.

Full Color Illustration:  $125.00-$350.00

I can draw any characters you'd like (I may ask for reference), doing just about anything you request--although I avoid anything beyond mild cheesecake or moderate (PG-13) violence.

So if any of the stuff you see here interests you, let me know.  I'll be happy to create a commission for your collection.

jel

P.S. Just got a commission inquiry this morning from Malaysia and realize that I need to add a couple of things. 

1) All prices are in US Dollars AND the cost of postage has to be added to all of these.  If you are an international commissioner, this shipping cost can run into some money.  So inquire first and I'll get you a complete price on the work and the shipping combined.

2) I do take PayPal payments.  Inquire and I'll send you the address for those payments.

3) As I am a working professional with publishing deadlines I may not be able to get to your commission immediately.  When you inquire I'll do my best to give you a turn-around time for the completed commission.  That is, when I can fit it into my work schedule.

Thanks! ;)
  • Listening to: Spotify
  • Reading: The Supergirls
  • Watching: not much
  • Playing: wage-earner
  • Eating: spagetti with ham and peas
  • Drinking: Milk, Water, Cran-Razz
First off, I'd like to thank everyone who has recently given me a "fave" or added my work to their various collections.  For some reason I can't thank you properly on your pages, because when I try the page blanks out and I can't see where to type.  Sorry about that.  It's DA's fault, or MacOS upgrade's fault or something.

Secondly, I'm happy to announce that "The Other Dead" has come out and and is getting great reviews in the comics industry and elsewhere.  Look for my Zombie Horses pin-up in the back, and if you see me at a show I'll be happy to sign your copy or sell you a print of that image.  It's not much compared to all the work that went into the regular book by the story team, but I'm honored that they asked me to contribute the pin-up.  (I'm presently talking with writer, Joshua Ortega, about the two of us collaborating on something in the next year or so--we'll see what comes of that).

Third, next week (October 2, 2013) Grimm Fairy Tales: Hunters #5 is supposed to come out, and I'm hoping I will be doing some comic shop signings to promote it (and me).

Finally, my 30 year retrospective show (yep, been at it that long folks) is opening at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City, NC.  In fact it opens today!  But there's going to be a reception on Sunday, October 6, starting at 3 pm with a concert by Gypsy Bandwagon.  If you are in the area, you may want to check it out.
  • Listening to: Not Pandora (until they clean up their act)
  • Reading: Keep Watching the Skies!
  • Watching: Rush Hour
  • Playing: Self Promo Man
  • Eating: Oatmeal Cookies
  • Drinking: Milk, Water
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1…

The day has been spent drawing pencils for Zenescope Comics.  Specifically I've been hard at work all week doing the final half of Grimm Fairy Tales: Hunters #5 (pages 11-22) and I've completed 11-16 so far.  Ready to go on page 17 tomorrow when we're done at church.

But I've also been trying really hard to promote the Kickstarter funding to complete Game Of Horror.  Shane Berryhill and I really went all out on the first chapter last year, only to find that there were no publishers willing to fund the remaining 3 chapters.  They all told us "get a kickstarter".  So we did.  We went out and did a KS promotion.  But with less than a week left, we've only got around 9% of our funding.

Thus the past week of plugging GOH in between drawing my fingers raw.  So cut and paste that link above to go straight to the KS page.

But if that doesn't convince you, we'll actually let you read the first chapter for FREE!


This link will take you to the GOH Facebook page where if you look in the photos section and go to "Albums" you can read ALL of chapter one for FREE.

Did I say "FREE" enough times?

Hopefully you'll like what you see there and be willing to kick in a few bucks to make this project a reality.  Think about it.
  • Listening to: Spin Doctors
  • Reading: Keep Watching the Skies!
  • Watching: Svengoolie
  • Playing: Promotion Man
  • Eating: Pesto, I think
  • Drinking: Cran-Razzberry
Just so you know, I'll be in AA-307 at Heroes Convention next weekend, June 7-9.

If you didn't know Heroes Convention is America's Best LOVED Comic Book Show.  (San Diego gets a lot of press, but Heroes is the one that the artists love to be at, and the fans love to get close to the artists at.  Not slamming SDCC you understand--just saying).

So if you can make it to Charlotte next weekend, you'll want to hit Heroes Con.  Bigger than ever this year.
  • Listening to: Claire and Sarah
  • Reading: Showcase Presents Batman
  • Watching: Wild Rebels (MST3K)
  • Playing: Chapter Chairman
  • Eating: Pizza-Pizza
  • Drinking: Pineapple Soda
Haven't posted much here lately, but for those of you in the western North Carolina area--I'll be appearing at Geek Out, this Saturday, May 4th (FCBD), at the Sherrill Center--UNC-Asheville.  It's yet another attempt to bring a springtime Fan show to Asheville after Fanatacon had two highly publicized, highly attended--yet still unprofitable years for retailers and guest artists.

Hopefully Geek Out will show more profitability for everyone involved.

If you can make it out, then you can be part of the cure for the seemingly ailing Asheville Fan Base.

Or does that sound just a tad cynical on my part?

None the less, I'll be there doing my usual convention thing:  Offering originals, Pushing publications, Creating Convention Sketches!  Don't miss it if you can help it.
  • Listening to: The Tremors
  • Reading: The Whatchamacallit
  • Watching: Rocket Attack USA (MST3K)
  • Playing: advisory board member
  • Eating: Pizza-Pizza
  • Drinking: Pineapple Soda
Hi all.  In case any of you were wondering where I've been.  I've been down with Flu for what seems an eternity.  Hoping I'll get a clean bill of health from the Doctor this afternoon.
  • Listening to: Nothing much
  • Reading: American Advertisements of the 50s
  • Watching: old shows on MeTV
  • Playing: patient
  • Eating: lightly
  • Drinking: water
So I've been doing comic books for 29 years now.  But I haven't really been doing a lot of book covers--that is until recently.

The first one is for sale now.

www.amazon.com/dp/B0098046WQ/r…

It's called "The Long Silent Night" by Shane Berryhill and it's available at Amazon.com

So if you're into Nior fiction and Santa Claus, this one is the one for you!

(If you prefer Barnes & Nobel, that version will be out soon--along with another from Shane Berryhill with my cover art).
  • Listening to: The voice of reason
  • Reading: Thrilling Wonder Stories (Winter 1946 issue)
  • Watching: old shows on MeTV
  • Playing: businessman
  • Eating: corn bread and meatloaf
  • Drinking: water
So I've been on DA for a couple of years now and still have a hit count in the thousands.  Not tens-of-thousands mind you, thousands.  This bugs me a bit.

I've been a professional cartoonist and illustrator working in comics since the 1980s, and in spite of being well reviewed for over three decades it seems that I just can't get that level of popularity needed to really drive my career.  This seems to be true of DA as well.  I've got friends on here that have hit counts in the tens-of-thousands--and regularly visit others who have been on DA for six months or so with similar hit numbers.

Of course the advice I keep getting from people is to use, "Social Media more effectively".  This assumes that I'm good at socializing.  If I were good as socializing I wouldn't have spent my weekends in High School drawing--I would have been out a parties!  As it was I stayed at home on Friday and Saturday nights and read comics, and made my own.  To the point that by the time I was 19 I was working in comics, and have been ever since (that will be 30 years of drawing professionally in a few weeks!)

This is not to say that I'm totally inept at being social.  I am married--met my wife through a comic strip I drew for the rock band Utopia.  Many of those weekends in High School were spent drawing with my best friend, who's gone on to have a great career in art himself.  I'm an officer in the Southeast Chapter of the NCS, and meet with my cartooning buddies every month.

All of which means, perhaps, that my own socializing is more about serious, long-term relationships than getting the most friends on DA, FB, etc.  I tend to find friends and stick with them.

So maybe I don't care about having a high hit-count after all.
  • Listening to: appliances
  • Reading: whatever is laying around my inlaws house
  • Watching: old shows on YouTube
  • Playing: son-in-law
  • Eating: Italian food
  • Drinking: Orange Crush
So you may or may not have noticed a recent posting of two images done in the same size and media.  Supergirl and Powergirl.

I did these for a fan and autograph collector who asked for them done in index card sized stock.  Actually he sent a long list of possible characters to choose from, Supergirl and Powergirl among them.  Eventually I came up with this notion of a diptych showing the two as they were originally counterparts of one another.  Supergirl was Kara-El of Earth One and Powergirl Kara-L of Earth Two.  Both were Superman's younger cousin from Krpton, but they were wildly different in personality.

Supergirl at that time (in 1976) had become somewhat predictable, in spite of the publisher's efforts to make her more "modern" in her attitudes.  You always knew that she would do the right thing by the end of the story.  She always treated her cousin and her adopted parents with respect and acted in a demure manner.

Powergirl on the other hand was completely unpredictable!  Whereas Supergirl was pretty, yet unassuming, Powergirl was overtly sexual in her dress--but then would bust anyone's chops if they dared mentioned it!  She mouthed off to Superman, crushed Star-Spangled Kid's hopes when he tried to be nice to her, etc.

Girls were scary enough to me as a 13-year-old boy.  Powergirl was really scary.  I don't know that this was the intention, but it was the result.  But with Wally Wood inking the book, who could look away?  

Apparently the character has kept much of her impact to this day.  I see girls dressing as Powergirl in cosplay at many shows, and the character keeps showing up in various comics from DC.  I'm glad that DC opted to drop the ridiculous notion that she was somehow associated with Arion, Lord of Atlantis (not that I'm down on Arion--liked that title too) and went back to her being from Earth Two (although that causes a whole different set of problems).

Anyway, I thought it would be like doing two sides of a coin.  The same person given a somewhat different set of circumstances--how would they differ?  That's the beauty of the two characters as far as I'm concerned.

I don't want to see them go at each other's throats--but it's interesting to compare and contrast them mentally.
  • Listening to: Marshall Crenshaw
  • Reading: Mister Miracle (original series)
  • Watching: MST3K
  • Playing: Facilitator
  • Eating: Lunch
  • Drinking: Cran Raspberry
Having gotten back from Heroes Convention last month dived right in trying to find more work and found a good bit of it.

Just finishing up two book covers for Shane Berryhill novels.  So those should be seeing the light of day soon.  Read a book that has been self-published by a local author…the family is wondering if it might be a good graphic novel.  Have taken steps toward securing some sort of representation for my work, and have been making bids on various children's book projects.

Then on Friday got an email, out of the blue, from my old collaborator on DoorMan--Mike Leonard.  It looks like we'll be putting the band back together, first to offer a DoorMan web-comic and hopefully also issue most of the previous material as a TPB.  We'll see how that works out, but my studio is now a mess of materials churned up in trying to find out just what actual files we have on hand to make DoorMan happen again.

I'm also supposed to be having a meeting with my new high-school mentoree about his senior project--a comic book of his own creation.   This will likely take the form of a few complete pages of work, but he is supposed to be working on the story right now and present his thumbnail sketches to me on Wednesday afternoon.

Working on some sample pages requested by <big name publisher> if I can ever get past my mental blocks and draw them.

Actually got some of what I am owed by another company today.  (They paid a little less than half on a project I did for them a year ago).  So there's some relief there.

Finally I'm supposed to be appearing at Rob-Con this coming Saturday in Bristol, VA at Viking Hall.  So if you're out that way, come by and see me--buy some stuff if you can afford it.
  • Listening to: Thunder
  • Reading: The Quintessential Sherlock Holmes
  • Watching: This and that
  • Playing: Businessman
  • Eating: Left overs
  • Drinking: Cran Raspberry
Just a quick note to everyone who cares--will be at Heroes Con this weekend (June 22-24) running between tables 250, 251, and 252 (my official table space).  Come look for me there if you're going to be there too!

Just a million things to do before then.
  • Listening to: Yes
  • Reading: The 5000 Year Leap
  • Watching: Sherlock Holmes (various)
  • Playing: Conventioneer
  • Eating: Vienerschnitzel
  • Drinking: Cran Raspberry
I know I haven't written a journal entry in a long time.  This is because I've been working a deadline (still am).  But today I was kind of overcome by the irony of this situation.

Most of my friends are celebrating the comics art form in some manner this weekend.  Some of them are in Las Vegas at the National Cartoonists Society's "Reubens" weekend.  Some are in Hickory, NC at the convention there, and at least one (probably more) is in Raleigh at Animazment.

While I'm here inking away on "Game of Horror".  I've completed most of the pages at this point with 5 left to complete.  I hope to whittle that number down to 3 by the end of the day.  But the days have been long.  I've been in the studio until midnight for most of this week, and I have blisters on my thumb and middle finger from holding pen and brush for such long periods of time.

Being a professional cartoonist / illustrator is no picnic.  I have moments of self-pity--I won't lie about that.  But I love what I do and will continue to do it as long at the Lord allows me to.  Even when it means I have to sit in the studio while others celebrate Memorial Day Weekend.

Of course the true irony of the situation is that there are lots of servicemen and servicewomen who will be working hard this weekend defending our country.  They've been at it for a long time, and in many cases have not had a decent night's sleep in months--possibly years.  

So while while my friends are enjoying the perks of being professional cartoonists and the accolades of fan and fellows and I feel a twinge of jealousy--there are folks out there dodging bullets, braving the elements so that I can sit in a nice cool studio and draw funny books, and perhaps some of you will enjoy a picnic…all because someone was and is willing to do a really hard job.

Let's face it, deadlines may hurt the body temporarily--but so far as I know nobody ever died at the hands of a piece of bristol board.  So we owe an incredible debt to those in uniform.

But just as I am praying that all my friends have a great day celebrating comics, it seems that the folks in service are hoping that we all have a great Memorial Day Weekend.  Their reward is that you and I are safe to enjoy and celebrate the day.

So everyone be careful--we don't want their sacrifice to be in vain.
  • Listening to: Newsboys
  • Reading: Essential Avengers vol. 3
  • Watching: Planet of the Prehistoric Women (MST3K)
  • Playing: inker
  • Eating: asparagus
  • Drinking: lots of water
The difficulty in being busy on stuff that hasn't cleared yet, is that I have nothing new to show on DA.

A small bummer.

The good news is that I have cleared most of the hurdles on my first children's book (Abraham's Journey) and it should be in the process of final approval even now.  There are still some items to take care of (flattening down the art to final files, tweaking for print, uploading them to the publisher) but for the most part the thing is done.

So now I'm getting geared up for my next couple of projects.  A graphic novel pitch with Shane Berryhill (creator of Chance Fortune), which will occupy much of the next few months, and a couple of stories with Ron Fortier that I've been putting off for months.

The really good thing is that I am actually expecting some payments (both advances and progress) for the first time in weeks.  This isn't to say that I haven't got other clients who pay, it's just that some of them you never know when they'll actually pay.  Whereas with the ones mentioned, I'm actually expecting payment, because I know they'll come through on time.

For the first time since my Dad passed away I feel like maybe I'm actually an adult.
  • Listening to: Nothing at the moment
  • Reading: Jack Kirby's Jimmy Olsen run
  • Watching: Riff Trax
  • Playing: artist
  • Eating: cordon bleu
  • Drinking: lots of water